Men, Beer, and Yard Sale Shopping!

This post was first published in January 2013.  With excitement over the season of yard sales and backyard socializing, I wanted to reshare. 

At first I thought it was a simple potting bench. But then the female yard saler pointed out that the narrow wooden table also came with two wooden benches. “It’s a picnic table,” she said. “We bought it from Germany when we were first married. My husband is from Germany. But you could definitely use it as a potting bench. Five dollars.”

The unusual table had promise, but exposure to the elements had taken its toll. The wood was splitting, the paint was cracked and bubbling, and the metal folding legs were badly rusted. But a potting bench doesn’t have to be pretty, so I paid the price as the woman called her husband to help me lift.

The husband sighed as he lifted the table and perhaps I was imagining it, but he actually looked sad. As he was loading the benches into my minivan, he lowered his head to my ear and said in a hushed tone, “Do you have a husband?”

Now I am not the type of woman that typically attracts the flirtations of young, muscular, foreign, (did I say muscular?) men.  So I looked back at the woman’s husband curiously and told him yes, wondering what the heck he was going to say next.

He leaned in even closer, so I now felt his breath on my ear, and he whispered, “This is not a potting bench. Tell this to your husband.  This is a Bavarian beer table.  Tell your husband.” And without another word, he quickly walked away.

My exchange with the German was certainly unusual, and I left the yard sale a bit befuddled.

But it turns out that men really do know men.  Because when I did tell my husband, Joe, that I had purchased yet another piece of aged furniture that was battered and worn and would require a great deal of labor to restore, I expected his usual disapproval. But when I included the words “Bavarian beer table,” I was met instead with widening eyes and enthusiasm.

So my husband, who usually moans and groans his opposition to my projects, was transformed into a restoration work horse: sanding staining, and painting like the project had to be finished that very day!

In the end, the final product was a very nice beer table, and not the potting bench that I needed. The German had gotten his way.

So what is is about beer gardens and grown men? I think back and wonder what went through my husband’s head when he decided that this project of mine was worthy of his help, when so many others were not. Did he imagine that the refinished beer table would bring the unique Oom-pah sounds of accordion and tuba to our suburban back yard? Did he envision young women dressed for Oktoberfest doling out overflowing steins of a good German ale on a hot summer day right here in NJ?

I also wonder how that sad German husband parted with his cherished Bavarian beer table. Did giving it up mean saying goodbye (or adieu) to some part of his past or with his youth, even?

Perhaps one of these weekends, we should invite him over here for a beer!


After all that work, here’s the refinished beer table… real life.

The finished beer table in our backyard in real life.

And here’s that same table… Joe’s imagination.

The refinished beer table in Joe's imagination!


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About Lisa

Lisa has two active blogs on Wordpress. Views from the RoofTop started as a blog space to share about crafting and using repurposed materials to make useful housewares and about my craft shop's mascot, RoofTop Chalie, the repurposed racing greyhound. It has evolved into a space to also share about the things in life that intrigue and inspire me. GAMES GAMES GAMES started because people asked Lisa to share many of the silly and fun games that are staples at her holiday parties.
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2 Responses to Men, Beer, and Yard Sale Shopping!

  1. Amy says:

    Hey, I’ll come by for a beer, it’s been way too long. Do you have any cold ones? I could use it right about now as Charlotte is running around singing My Little Pony songs as loud as she can. We went to Bronycon this weekend and it is not our her system yet.

    That table looks perfect. Joe did a great job. Glad to see that you are still blogging, and that everyone is doing well.

    • My blogging has actually been neglected. Life has been crazy busy and writing and crafting have taken the back seat more than I’d like. But yes, we have cold beer! So if you want to head to Jersey, let me know!!

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